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How To Find A Perfect Martial Arts School For You.

Finding a right martial arts school may not seem complicated but there is a lot more to it than you think. You do not have to drive too far to find the nearest martial arts school. Finding a good dojo, though, is nothing short of a miraculous feat. So what should you look for on your quest to find the perfect school? It is crucial to determine why you or your child want to start training in martial arts so you can choose the most appropriate school for your specific needs.

What is the most important benefit you want to get out of the training?

There are many different martial arts styles and many different reasons to start your training at the local martial arts school. Which one is most important to you?

Most common benefits for adults are:

  1. I want to get in shape but find gym workout boring and unmotivated.
  2. I want to learn how to defend myself.
  3. I am looking for a healthy activity I can do together with my children.
  4. I did martial arts as a kid and now I want to get back into it.

Most common benefits for Children are:

  1. Discipline.
  2. Focus.
  3. Self control.
  4. Good manners.
  5. Bully prevention (self-defense).

What Culture Do You Prefer? Traditional Martial Arts School Vs. Non Traditional.

Do you enjoy the “Formalities” of the traditional martial arts school? Bowing to your instructor and your training partners, saying “Yes sir”, “No sir” while learning the art of combat then go find a traditional dojo. If you just want to learn how to break arms, choke people and kick the stuffing out of the heavy bag – non traditional maybe your thing.

What type of martial arts school? Sports and tournament oriented or real street self defense.

Most schools focus on sport-combat which can allow you to spar at full speed and compete in tournaments. Others, usually much harder to find, focus exclusively on real-life street combat and effective techniques against multiple attackers and weapons. So ask yourself if you want to get fit and compete or be able to protect yourself in a life and death?

Who is your instructor? Ego and Safety concerns.

It is imperative that you search for a school where the students’ safety and well-being is the primary concern. There are many schools where bruises, chipped teeth, pulled tendons, torn muscles, and broken bones are commonplace. Some schools even take pride in injuries as a way to condition your body to take pain and toughen you up. In reality, that really only helps to age your body and increase the likelihood of developing arthritis and other degenerative health problems.

It is crucial to study with a martial art teacher who is not only skilled in martial arts, but who is also secure with his or her own self. Some teachers will deliberately injure you if the teacher cannot counter a physical technique or a challenging question. In other schools you are not allowed to ask the teacher questions at all. You are just forced to do as they are told.It is essential that you study with a self defense teacher who will strive to remove your ego and who is also working diligently to remove his or her own ego. As you mature in the martial arts you should become more open-minded and less prone to fight. You should only use your martial art on a physical level as a last resort. Being able to ask questions will greatly expedite your learning. Some schools do not allow questions to be asked. Other martial art schools may not be good at answering your specific questions. Finding a school that can answer your tough questions and help you understand the “why” behind all of your movements is absolutely critical. You will advance much quicker when you can bridge the gaps in your knowledge by asking questions and getting good answers.It is imperative to study in a martial art school that helps to open your mind as opposed to closing it. Some schools will boast that their style is superior to all others. Consciously or subconsciously your exposure to this type of attitude will condition you to also develop a closed mind and prejudice to other styles not your own. In the end this really only weakens your overall martial education since you will be less inclined integrate the principles from another system to mitigate your weaknesses. You also want to be familiar with other systems so you know how to defend against as many different types of attacks as possible.

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